Smatterings of jozi inspired thoughts

A constant paranoia underlies daily life.  High gates surround houses, local taxies are to be avoided, we were told not to sit in the driveway too long in our car, not to go walking after dark, not to use certain ATMs.  Southgate, the mall we pass everyday on our way to work, is a "black" mall.  We should go to the Glenn instead, "it's much nicer".  

Apartheid only ended ten years ago in 1994 (it began officially in the 1950s).  

If there's one thing I would've done differently, it's that I would have spent more time in ward 20 doing internal medicine.  They are less reliant on imaging so diagnosis is still very clinical.  Sure they do the CXRs and ECGs, but it's all stuff I know how to interpret (as opposed to ultrasounds and CTs, about which I have very little idea), so it feels like all the stuff I've learnt in med school is actually useful.  It feels more real, more gritty.  Feel like a real doctor.

I step up to the ledge to meet the horizon (I shouldn't be here).  The world tilts beneath me (oh my gods).  My voice rips through in bursts as I plummet, determined to make some last declaration, and it's not until the first bounce, that I remember this is a game.  Then I'm hollering and whooping as the cord stretches and holds.  I dangle like a caught fish.  Pressure builds in my sinuses.  I'm lowered slowly to the ground.

Watched the sun set over the lake.  Rocked in on the gravel road that parts the yellow grasses.  A herd crosses in front of us (elk?  Eland?).  Smaller kudu graze roadside.  The sky slowly bruises, then a ceiling of stars descends.  So many that it feels like a set.  Like im looking up into the underside of a cake dome.  So close that I stick my tongue out.  I feel a bit claustrophobic.  We lie there, listening to Josh's iPod, hunting shooting stars.  I see one that makes a Twock sound like an arrow leaving a bow before burning out in a hurry.  The Milky Way above us.

Galloping down the plains on a horse, holding on for dear life, stirrups bouncing every which way, hair, bag,etc streaming behind.  Two hour Ride down the forgotten valley.  Buttes above us, two owls asleep in a tree.  The grin permanently stamped on my face.  My horse was called taxi.  I fed it an apple.  

Walking to the policemans helmet w the amphitheater behind.  Scrambling alone up a soot cliff to get to the top, the view from the top breathtaking.  The same sense of giddiness as stepping up to the ledge in my recent bungy experience. My body remembering too easily.  Reminding myself not to jump.  Reminding my breath to stay with me, my heart to beat within my chest.  The boys a speck in the distance.   A moment of fright as I lose my way down.  A bird shrieks then falls in a crooked dive, straight down but buffeted by the wind, a victim of physics, like me, before pulling out.  My heads spins with it down into the ravine.  Calling for josh to come and show me the path, then hugging the cliff andI scooting back down slowly.  The descent is always my bane.  Then going off piste w the boys to track the gorge path for a different way home.  Eventually finding a creek in which to dip my dirty feet.  We lie in the sun.  I marvel at my survival.   A braii and s'mores before lying beneath the stars again.  

Our car is piece of junk.  It was to be expected--we got it from rentawreck.com.   It struggles to make it up the hills.  The boys have a theory that it's because the gas tilts back away from the engine when the tank is anything less than full.  The car rocks like it's on hydraulics, then stalls.  On a particularly onerous hill, we had to get out and walk.  Luckily we were still in the mountains of drakensberg, so the scenery was beautiful, and the wind whipped past us.  A piece of luck when a truck stopped and we hitched a ride, standing on it's back bumper and clinging to the netting tied over its goods.  Almost didn't get off in time before the truck drove off again.  Was definitely a moving dismount.  We refueled at the new Switzerland gas station, and took shelter behind 18 wheelers the rest of the way back.  Thus we made it home while the engine emitted funny noises and smells.  Poor little wreck.